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Is being born with natural intelligence the only way to succeed in college?

Grijalva480Grijalva480 27 replies16 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
It seem like the only people who really ever get remotely close to straight As or successful in College are people who are simply just naturally talented with intelligence and the ability to pick-up lectures very fast.

No matter how hard society tries to encourage everyone to get a college education to be successful in life, it just seems like people who lack that natural intelligence and are very slow learners simply shouldn't have any business going to Universities because it's just mandatory to be a fast learner and naturally smart in college.
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Replies to: Is being born with natural intelligence the only way to succeed in college?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77757 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Few college students earn straight A grades or anything close. And success in college does not necessarily require anything close to straight A grades, except for some specific goals (e.g. pre-med, or pre-law aiming for a law school with decent law job prospects).
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I often think those getting the As are seeing the material for the second time. Which isn’t really about intelligence at all. They might have had a stronger HS education that covered it, or studied ahead over break.
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  • svlab112svlab112 541 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    Getting straight As in college does not automatically equate to success. I know recent college grads who earned outstanding grades yet are having trouble finding a job. A lack of social skills during the interview process and how to network being an obstacle.

    On the other hand, I know students who earned sub 3.0s in college but are able to sell their skills and land impressive jobs.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77757 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    intparent wrote:
    I often think those getting the As are seeing the material for the second time. Which isn’t really about intelligence at all. They might have had a stronger HS education that covered it, or studied ahead over break.

    Perhaps they are intentionally grade-grubbing by unconditionally repeating their AP credit, a practice that is often advocated on these forums for some reason (even for non-pre-meds).

    But not all students who do this earn the anticipated "easy A" grades, since some of them slack too much in the course.
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  • scubadivescubadive 1091 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some of it relates to interest. Easier to learn something you enjoy than something you dislike. Some of it relates to the professor. Some are better than others and some students do better with certain type of professors. Some of it relates to your style of learning and adapting and understanding how you learn. Some of it relates to study skills and time management. Being ADD or ADHD can be a hindrance. That being said, college is not the end all for everyone and not enough kids and parents entertain other options. There are shortages of certain skills that do not require college and many jobs today that require college degrees really don’t need one.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1266 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some people are just more, or even exceptionally more, naturally talented than others, in one area or another. We aren't created equal in that regard. Being naturally talented doesn't guarantee success, however.
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  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 4160 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    People who are successful at anything almost always take a good attitude and planful everyday steps toward that success, what ever it is, not just college success. Yes there are some brilliant college students for whom the learning process may be easier but even the brilliant have to take planful everyday steps to turn that ease of learning into successful outcomes.

    Now, if you are feeling that college isn't for you because it is difficult, that's a different issue.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6995 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Let's not forget about hard work too. I don't know anyone who breezes through difficult courses with As who aren't putting in a ton of extra work and study time.
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  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This is an interesting topic. How much is academic aptitude "native intelligence" vs. personality, experience, culture, training or other factors. I believe a lot of "learning to learn" has to take place before a student is at the "straight A's" level.
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  • lvvcsflvvcsf 2319 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    IMO natural intelligence, work ethic, organization/time management, interest in what you are studying and even a bit of luck (getting the right professors etc.) all contribute to the success of those that are 4.0 students in college. I knew a Physics major in college and he just got it. Homework that other students would spend hours on he would have done in an hour. He was organized and prioritized his time well. He never seemed to be working hard but was always prepared. He had a social life and seemed to enjoy himself. I'm sure being "smart" was a large part of it but I've known some smart people that were always behind figuring they could "catch up". Usually that didn't work out for them.
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  • bopperbopper 14014 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    Nope!

    As an example I think I was more the "natural intelligence" type and my roommate was the "hard worker" type. We both did well. The thing to do is understand what you are good at and what you are bad at and make sure you adjust as necessary.
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  • raclutraclut 3689 replies233 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You need to develop good time management and effective study skills. For students who haven't developed that skill in high school they only struggle more in college when the workload gets heavier and more complex. It's about setting your priorities, self discipline, and staying focused on what you are trying to achieve. In college no one is there to babysit you. When you find yourself lost or getting behind you take steps to get the help you need so that you can be successful. You have to have a love of learning and have the motivation to do whatever it takes to pass your classes and make sure you have mastered the material that is covered. The ownership is on the student.
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  • MmeZeeZeeMmeZeeZee 624 replies14 threadsRegistered User Member
    I know students who earned sub 3.0s in college but are able to sell their skills and land impressive jobs.

    Yep. Openness, creativity, assertiveness, and empathy are all irreplaceable traits when it comes to work and HR knows it. School measures intelligence and conscientiousness but those only get you so far.

    I think one part of this is expectations of "all As".

    I swear to god I have firsthand evidence that getting below a 3.8 won't kill you.

    Too much pressure on yourself to hit all the numbers, however, might. Thinking like you are, @Grijalva480 thinking along your lines is dangerous. You seem to imply that success is attached to almost effortless good grades. What does that mean for those at the bottom of the curve, in the middle of the curve? That it's not worth doing if you can't be #1?

    I get it, that's motivating to some people, but only one person can be #1. There are seven billion people on the planet. Thousands, possibly tens of thousands, in your college.

    But you are the only one living your life. Nobody else is.

    This is not a race against others. It's a journey. If you run it like a race, you might come in first but you're missing a hell of a lot. You get the race but you lose the journey.
    it just seems like people who lack that natural intelligence and are very slow learners simply shouldn't have any business going to Universities because it's just mandatory to be a fast learner and naturally smart in college.

    That kind of black and white thinking isn't really helpful in real life though.

    A university degree is a means to an end. It doesn't have to be professional training but it certainly should be the START of a journey and not an end in itself. It's a good bet to get a degree because it gives you fallback options for hard times. You don't have to get all As for that though. If you study super hard and get Bs or Cs, you can use your degree to get a job that is less letters-focused, and use that to make the world a better place.

    That's what it's about. Making the world a better place, giving more than you get.

    I don't see what being a fast learner has to do with that. On the contrary, those who have struggled and learned to work hard are often great at solving problems.

    If you want to chase the numbers (GPA, scores, salary) by all means do so, but don't lose sight of *why*.

    These are supposed to be a means to an end, the end being a meaningful life. GPA gets you college, college gets you a job, a job allows you to support your family and community. To build connections and build a better world.

    Chasing after that "top score" in and of itself will get you nothing but the score.
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  • raclutraclut 3689 replies233 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It really depends what your career plans are. For example if you plan on going to grad school specifically med school you need a 3.7 gpa at minimum for any chance of admission to an MD school. When colleges have on campus job fairs many times companies will have a minimum gpa to be considered for a position or even an internship. I remember some consulting companies requiring at least a 3.5 gpa.
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  • sta3535sta3535 194 replies105 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    IMO, it all depends on effective studying habits & how well they remember the information presented to them in class. Anyone can get straight A's, but it takes a great work ethic & a complete understanding of the subject. It also helps if you're interested in the class as well.
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  • GoatGirl19GoatGirl19 308 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    Based on the OP's words it seems that they think that you need to have all "A"s in order to be considered successful in college. For the vast majority of students this will not be the case, especially in situations where grades are curved to give a certain number of each grade.

    Also, you are probably not seeing the enormous amount of work that goes into seeming like "naturally smart" "fast learners".

    I am in my last quarter of undergrad and have accepted a graduate fellowship at a top-ranked PhD program in my field, where on the tour I could not contain my excitement about all of the cool stuff that was going on. While my GPA certainly helped get my foot in the door, it was my research experience, communication skills, knowledge about the program, and pure uncontrolled joy at being invited to interview that, it seems, sealed the deal. Not one person the entire week even mentioned my GPA.
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